The Mighty Brick

The average face brick psi rating (according to a brick manufacturer rep) is around 6,700 to 8,800 psi.

The average frame house weighs about 50 lbs per SF (according to modular home builders)

Based upon this info and input from a modular home manufacturerer transportation department a frame house ranges in weight between 56,000 lbs and 100,000 lbs.

Taking all this into account, if you could perfectly apply the entire weight of a house to the top surface of a brick, one brick would support the entire weight of a house.

In fact, to take this a step further, three brick could support the weight of an empty Boeing 747 Jumbo jet (402,000 lbs)

Not bad for a ceramic material!

The weak link is the mortar connecting the bricks which brings the strength way down. And what do the bricks sit on … soil with a typical capacity of 12 psi to 15 psi for average soil … :wink:

Indeed, but actually properly cured mortar is rated at approximately 750 psi which means that the mortar bed can support 10 tons :smiley: And the beauty of the properly constructed foundation is that the weight is distributed pretty evenly along the wall which is in turn on a footing typically twice the wall thickness onto the earth.

Thank heaven for you engineers.